Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And Now... The Second Best Show Ever Made!

I got my first set of discs from Blockbuster yesterday and I'm enjoying watching John Steed and Emma Peel fight exotic crime.

If you've never seen the show before it's a treat. It's a '60s spy thriller with witty dialogue and some far-fetched plots. A precursor to shows like Moonlighting and Remington Steele, the Avengers was made during the hey-day of 007, cold war and strange gadgets.

Just like The Prisoner, here is a bunch of links to get you caught up.

Avengers Forever
Encyclopædia of the cult British TV classic. Has the best episode guide, too.

The Avengers at IMDB
Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussion, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Photos, Showtimes, Link to Official Site, Fan Sites.

Official site of TV series, featuring video clips, character and actor biographies, and message boards.

The Avengers at Wikipedia
Need we say more?

An informational site for the program.

The Quite Quite Fantastic Avengers Website
The most attractive and stylish Avengers review site on the internet!

The Avengers.tv
Even more links pertaining to Steed and Peel (and King).

Avengers Screencaps
Lots of images from the show.

Mrs. Peel... We're Needed!
Another great site, with episode guide and screen caps.

Cult TV Programmes
Has real media video clips of intros to a bunch of cult shows, including The Prisoner and The Avengers.


doppelganger said...

Hmmm I dunno
Does this stuff stand the test of time?
Thesedays, even a lot of the old Doctor Who seems pretty much unwatchable....

Mind you, Emmas Peel, leather catsuits...mmmmmmm

Ok, ya sold me....

You ever watch the 'New Avengers' from the 70's?

Republic of Replicants said...

Nope. Never saw it. From what I understand it couldn't recapture the chemistry that the Rigg episodes had.

As far as the test of time, I never saw the Avengers, myself, until about ten years ago. And I was instantly hooked.

I came across it and The Prisoner at about the same time. A&E had just started playing it and a PBS station in Dallas was playing The Prisoner late Saturday nights.

Dr. Who is another series that was great. However, I'm kinda partial to the Baker version.

doppelganger said...

Heh.... here's the text from a post from that old bloke back in Aug '04 - you might notta caught it then:
Twenty years ago (in 1984 funnily enough), my friend Davey and I joined a society called 'Six of One'. It was devoted to the TV show "The Prisoner".

If you're not familiar with The Prisoner, it was 17 glorious episodes of British 60's TV lunacy, mostly fuelled by the talent (and ego) of Patrick McGoohan. He played the eponymous hero - a secret agent type known only as 'Number 6' , who when he tried to resign from his post, was whisked away to a picturesque italianate holiday village in Wales, where he was tormented by various slumming it british character actors (there's a theme emerging here) and chased around on the beach by a giant ping-pong ball whilst yelling "I am not a number - I am a free man!".It had the coolest opening sequence ever and a cracking theme tune.

McGoohan must've had something on the TV execs, 'cos they let him have free reign, with a programme that got steadily more bizarre and incoherent as it approached it's 'conclusion'. They even let him wander off during one episode and make 'Ice Station Zebra', with another completely different guy playing his part.

Did he ever escape? What did it all mean ? Was it all a Kafkaesque critique of modern society? - I've watched the final episode dozens of times , and I haven't got a bloody clue.

But, it doesn't end there. Channel 4 repeated the series in '84 and I thought it was brilliant. It filled a space in my long line of adolescant preoccupations somewhere between Dungeons & Dragons and The Smiths.

I got my Dad to visit Forbidden Planet (then a rather dingy little place in Denmark Street) and copy the address of 'Six of One' from a poster in the window.They proved a rather jolly bunch - Davey and I went to a nice lady's house in Finchley to watch the final episode and rather earnestly discuss its' meaning with various others. Admittedly one of them was wearing a sixties style blazer and would only refer to himself as 'Number 14', but the rumours that they annually re-enacted the closing scenes of the series by chasing a bus across Westminster Bridge, accompanied by a dwarf dressed as a butler, seemed entirely unfounded.

A short time later my interests were focussed elsewhere ( I can remember her name, but I'm not telling you....) and I let my membership lapse.

But now according to the claims on this site, the society formed to celebrate the resistance of one man to a sinister, machiavellian organisation, has itself become such an organisation.
I was, according to the site, unwittingly, part of a society which is now a "shameful version of its former self", with members performing "despicable, immoral and illegal acts". (Hey, maybe I'll renew my membership...)

Here you'll enter a strange Kafkaesque world of threatening phone calls, secret surveillance and the purging of 'unmutual' information - detailed seemingly without a shred of irony.

I have absolutely no idea if any of this is true - they seemed a jolly nice bunch of chaps twenty years ago
But still, surely a fitting appreciation society for 'The Prisoner'.........


Sorry the link don't work.

As for the New Avengers. Steed was still about. The lovely Joanna Lumley launched a whole new haircut (The 'Purdey') on the nation (including my mum), but they got Gareth Hunt in to do the physical stuff as Steed was creaking a bit by then. Still, 'twas still miles better than the movie!

Republic of Replicants said...

Thanks for sharing that.

I almost joined such a group at one time but never could get the nerve to try.

And, oh God! That movie sucked so much!
Great actors. Terrible, terrible writing!